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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Placewell International Services Corporation involved in fraudulent documentation in Human Trafficking

Tel No/s : 5267838/5267317
Email Address : PISCO@THE.NET.PH
Website : None
Official Representative : AIDA ESCUETA
Status : Good Standing
License Validity : 3/25/2008 to 3/24/2012
Placewell International Services Corporation involved in fraudulent documentation in Human Trafficking case of 13 Filipinos in West Palm Beach, Florida remains licensed in 'Good Standing' in the Philippines.

Placewell also lost a case in 2006 before the Philippine Supreme Court for contract substitution besides acting as the recruitment agency for the problematic Annasban Company in Saudi http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/12/14/10/pinoy-couple-meted-maximum-prison-time-human-trafficking by Don Tagala

After pleading guilty to forcing at least 39 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to work under threat of arrest and deportation, Sophia Manuel and her husband, Alfonso Baldonado, owners of Quality Staffing Corporation Services, a labor contracting company in Boca Raton, Florida were sentenced to maximum prison time allowed by law... the Filipinos came to the US as guest workers in 2007 and 2008... paying up to $5,000 in recruitment and placement fees... case Re: Quality Staffing Corporation Services pages 6 to 10 describes in detail the role played by the recruiting agency Placewell International Services Corporation
More on Placewell and a lawsuit about contract substitution that went all the way to the Philippine Supreme Court in 2006
G.R. No. 169973 June 26, 2006
IRENEO B. CAMOTE, Respondent.
R.A. No. 8042 explicitly prohibits the substitution or alteration to the prejudice of the worker, of employment contracts already approved and verified by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from the time of actual signing thereof by the parties up to and including the period of the expiration of the same without the approval of the DOLE
......Consequently, the solidary liability of petitioner with SAAD for respondent’s money claims continues in accordance with Section 10 of R.A. 8042.

(Looking Back)
More on Placewell & other recruitment agencies, this time in Saudi
Benjie Alcabaza, meanwhile, said her OFW wife fears for her safety as some of her fellow OFWs locked up in the company warehouse get beaten up by the company’s personnel...They were brought in the desert, locked up inside a bus, and through the small holes of the bus, Annasban personnel would throw them lit cigarettes. They thought they were going to be burned alive...Annasban is owned by the "powerful" Al Nasban family, according to Migrante, which includes Engineer Fahad Al Nasban, who is also an immigration police, as its director general. (Source: Migrant group calls for ban of ‘notorious’ Saudi firm for detaining 88 OFWs by Charles Kelly on January 17, 2010 http://www.gmanews.tv/story/185439) third day of staging a hunger strike, five more Pinays in the Kingdom are pleading with the Philippine government to speed up efforts to repatriate them, about two months after they stopped working in protest of what they allege as harsh work conditions.The five overseas Filipino workers (OFW) are all women caregivers employed by the Annasban Group, a multimillion-riyal maintenance and operations firm previously implicated in several other complaints of unfair labor practices... they have been "detained" in the company-owned facility in Riyadh for about two months now, while awaiting results of their request to be sent home. Early this year, 43 other OFWs from Annasban have been repatriated by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) also after refusing to go to work on similar grounds. ...The five workers said they are now being forced by Annasban to pay 5,000 riyals (about P61,314) to cover their deployment costs after breaching their contracts...Amid their seemingly hopeless conditions, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and OWWA in Riyadh appear equally helpless, to the point that one official says the workers’ plight may actually be of their own making..."They are at fault here because they stopped work, so all we can do is ask Annasban to allow them to go home," said welfare officer Nestor Burayag in a separate interview. OWWA administrator Carmelita Dimzon said in another interview that the OFWs’ repatriation is "solely" dependent on Annasban...Unless we can negotiate with the employer to issue them exit visas, they can’t go home. Exit visas are the only way for them to be repatriated," Dimzon explained. Annasban had been disqualified from participating in the overseas employment program in 2005 due to a number of previous complaints against the company. The order was lifted in 2008 after Riyadh Labor Attaché Rustico Dela Fuente said the cases had been resolved and the agency had reformed its system of employing OFWs. Records from the migrants’ rights group Migrante International however show that even during the three-year ban, the company was able to recruit OFWs. In fact, Migrante had received requests for assistance from at least 137 OFWs in five separate complaint cases, ranging from contract substitution and illegal extension of contract duration, to prolonged working hours and physical abuse. Annasban hires Filipino workers through recruitment agencies Placewell International Service Corporation, Saveway International, Global Jobsearch Services Inc., United Placeman Philippines Inc., MHHR Manpower Recruitment & Placement Agency Corp. and GMBLT Manpower Services Inc., according to Migrante.(Source: No end in sight for OFW woes in Saudi firm, as more workers plead for help by JERRIE M. ABELLA 03/06/2010

Filipinos hired as fishermen in Saudi Arabia seek repatriation July 28th, 2011
Saudi Arabia
Ten overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were told to believe by a recruitment agent that they will work as fishermen only to find out, upon arrival to Saudi Arabia, there are no such jobs waiting for them, according to Migrante-Middle East, an alliance of Filipino migrants group providing assistance to distress OFWs.

OFWs Richard Mendoza, Jose Alforque, Felipe Batinsela, Ronnie Maro, Arden Unsipedo, Redentor Hubahig, Oliver Perez, Isabelo Salbado, Jupiter Lawan, and Henerio Colis –all were deployed, by batches, on 2010 by Placewell International Services Corporation, a Manila-based recruitment agency with branch offices operating in the Visayas and Mindanao.

"The OFWs applied at the branch offices in Mindanao and Cebu, where most of them came from, of the said agency and were told that a Saudi-based employer is hiring fishermen," said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME regional coordinator.
Monterona said the OFWs were offered a monthly salary of 1,500 Saudi Riyals, roughly equivalent to P17,000. According to the OFWs they’ve spent around P20,000 for their formalities and the agency said a salary deduction totaling to P60,000 will be deducted from their salary.

"We never received a salary as upon arrival to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia we were barred by Saudi authorities to catch fish as it is prohibited. Only Saudis are allowed to do so," the OFWs conveyed to Monterona.

Monterona said since they could not perform their job and no incomes for their employer to be able to pay their salaries, the OFWs were forced to run away from their employer.

"I was told by the OFWs that they have sought assistance from POLO in Jeddah since last year but until now they are still awaiting their repatriation," Monterona added.

Monterona said the OFWs are staying at the consulate-rented flat inside the Hajj terminal in Jeddah.

"The OFWs are jumping from one part-time job to another in order to survive for their daily subsistence, though undocumented, and for them to be able to send remittance for their families in the Philippines," Monterona added.

"Now they wanted to be home. PH labor officials must assist them and call the attention of their recruitment agency and the employer-sponsor and arrange for their exit clearance and airfare," Monterona averred.

"We could not understand why POLO officials in Jeddah could not immediately repatriate them."

Written by:
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator

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